ABSTRACT Controlled release fertilizers (CRF) are produced with different rates and durations of nutrient release to cater to different crops with wide ranges of nutrient requirements. A rapid technique is needed to verify the label specifications of nutrient release rate and duration. Polymer-coated urea (PCU) (43% nitrogen [N]) and polymer-coated N, phosphorus (P), potassium (K) (PC_NPK; 14-14-14) fertilizer products were used in this study. Soil incubation of the above CRF products at 25℃ showed that 63.6% to 70.8% of total N was released over 220 days (d). At 100℃ in water 100% of N release occurred in about 168 to 216 hours (h). Regression equations were developed for cumulative nutrient release as a function of release time separately at 25℃ and 100℃. Using the above regressions, the release duration for a given percent nutrient release at each temperature was calculated. These values were then used to establish a relationship between the release duration at 25℃ as a function of that at 100℃. This relationship is useful to predict the release duration at 25℃ of an unknown CRF product by conducting a rapid release test in water at 100℃. This study demonstrated that a rapid nutrient release test at 100℃ successfully predicted nutrient release rate and duration at 25℃, for polymer coated fertilizers. Therefore, this rapid test can be used to verify the label release rate and duration of most CRF products.
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